Tell it to My Face
Following the success of 2017’s “Dead Center”, musician Mike Mitchell’s new project,
Small Town, is a deeply personal project that is colored by the rich musical history of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Mike’s own distinctive instrumental prowess, and contributions from some of the
most talented artists in bluegrass.
Many know that Mike is the founder and director of Floyd Music School,
a revered institution located in the historic old Pix Theater building,
which hosted music performances from such bluegrass luminaries as Bill and Charlie Monroe.
Drawing inspiration from that rich history, Mike continues to carve out his own place in bluegrass:
Dead Center, Mike’s fiddle album with several original tunes,
debuted in at the #1 spot on the Airplay Direct downloads chart in 2017 (and continues to chart in top 40),
and radio programmers who have heard Small Town’s first single, “Tell It To My Face,” are unanimous in their praise.
Small Town is produced by Mark Schatz, and features Mike on fiddle and vocals,
Mark on bass, Jarrod Walker (of Claire Lynch Band) on mandolin and guitar,
Sammy Shelor (banjo) and Jesse Smathers (tenor harmony)
The Mike Mitchell Trio’s Tommy Morse on banjo – and a guest vocal appearance from Claire Lynch
on Mike’s original tune, “Jenny Lynne,” too.
When talking about his new project, Mike says,
“the songs on this album speak of love and loss, grief and faith, hope and second chances,
forgiveness and perseverance. There is even one song about breakfast.”
Two covers – one folk song, (Ola Belle Reed’s “High on a Mountaintop”)
and one bluegrass tune, (Osborne Brothers’ “Listening to the Rain”) –
highlight a ‘folk-grass’ sound that I enjoy performing.”
“And as always, no record of mine would be complete without a couple of fiddle tunes! ~~
An obscure Kenny Baker number (“Grassy Fiddle Blues”),
and one that I composed (“Lowground”) in the Baker style,” Mike adds.
Mike has a strong touring schedule through the end of 2018,
with a stop at IBMA’s annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival
in Raleigh, North Carolina, to celebrate the release of Small Town.
“The Mike Mitchell Trio won over the Lucketts Bluegrass crowd
with their fresh take on traditional American music.
Whether performing original tunes, bluegrass classics, or fiddle tunes,
they did so with joy and skilled musicianship.”
–Karen Capell, Lucketts Bluegrass
“Mike ….. is unbelievably talented! Reliable and professional, through the booking process and all the way throughout the event. You guys really are top notch!”
–Jason Gallimore, Chantilly Farm Bluegrass and BBQ Festival
“Mike Mitchell brings a unique offering to FloydFest in our Children’s Universe, allowing kids of all ages to explore their musical talents through improvisation and collaboration to make music from scratch. Mike & Jen Mitchell have brought the Magical Musical Tour to FloydFest for the past three years, and we can’t imagine the children’s area without their involvement.”
–Kellee Barbour, CPO, FloydFest
“Have to say, Mike’s workshop was perfect for my studio–
I’ve been spreading the word and will continue to do so!
We need ‘folk’ music so very much in our teaching and our lives.”
-Carol Stone, ASTACAP Director
“Mitchell’s command of the instrument is evident
and his tone is righteous.
Mitchell is a smooth and talented fiddler…
he sings smoothly in a contemporary style
and his fiddling is just right.”
– Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine
“Mike Mitchell is another one of those multi-talented, self-produced artists who’s a pure joy to uncover…”
– Bluegrass Now Magazine